Fun, Fireworks and our Flash Maps API

  • Posted June 30th, 2006 at 6:10 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Local

Our Yahoo! Local 4th of July Mashup is a great example of the possibilities you have as a developer, when you use Flash and the Y! Maps Flash API. Here are a few Tips & Tricks that can help you put some “pow” into your mashups:

1. Upon loading the app, you begin to see how rich the experience is. The polished zoom bar and map view buttons (satellite, hybrid, map) are capabilities built right into the Flash API. The very same features are also built into our AJAX APIif that’s your fancy.

Making your own map view buttons can be created using a combination of getMapViewTypes() and setMapViewType(). For the unique zoom bar, calling setZoomLevel() will do the trick.

2. We think the customSWFMarker, a class that enables you to create your own swf and attach it as a marker, is the star of this mashup. Rather than the built-in orange markers, customSWFMarker paves the way for the fireworks and sleek icons you see in the 4th of July mashup. Created as separate movie clips and exported as stand alone .swf’s, these custom markers add a new level of engagement and flavor to the map.

Adding customSWFMarkers is almost as simple as adding regular markers. Here’s how it looks: addMarkerByLatLon(CustomSWFMarker, latlon, {url:swfUrl}), where latlon is the latitude longitude point you want to add the marker to and swfUrl is the path to your custom SWF marker.

3. Rounding out the mashup are the interface and design elements that surround the map like the ribbon and the navigation. Flash can really ‘embrace’ the map content, allowing you to implement many eye-catching and intuitive control elements around the maps themselves. While Flash has become predominantly a program authoring tool, it’s still a very powerful visual tool. By laying out the map component on the stage, you can easily lend your design skills to add interface elements around, behind and over the map. Like the case with the patriotic ribbon, it actually wraps around the map. The sights (and let’s not forget about the sounds) are very stimulating and add a fun and entertaining take to map mashups as only developing with the Flash Map API can.

For more about the various methods available for the Flash and Flex API’s, visit:
http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/flash/V3/flashReference.html

To get started with your own mashup, visit:
http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/flash/asGettingStarted.html

-Chuck Freedman, Sr. Flash Developer, Yahoo! Maps.

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